In my past experience in USA, I never got an opportunity to work from home. I have come across many of my friends who would work from home. My husbands’ friend is a business analyst (which actually requires lot of client interaction) is working from home since last two years. After cautious and deep analysis, I zeroed in on the followings pros and cons of working from home:
What the corporate can gain…
- No need of pricey office space: Think of office prices in metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru etc. The prices are sky high for even a small part in commercial buildings. I was looking for 1000 sq ft decent office in Andheri(E) in Mumbai. To my surprise, it was astonishingly high costing around 80 lakhs to 1 Crore. I am sure 1000 sq ft office can break mid-size companies budget.
- Huge saving on electricity bills: More ‘work from home’ employees result into slashing down the need of well-lit and air-conditioned office space.
- Parking lot: Considering a situation where every employee would prefer to drive to office. Most of the employers provide parking space that comes at burning-a-hole-in- pocket price. For example, decent size parking in NYC may need USD 500 per month and in similar situation it may cost Rs 10,000 per month in Mumbai.
- No need to spend on food subsidy: Though many multinational companies with large number of employees do provide subsidized food facility in their canteen. Though given the rising food prices around the world, the companies can’t promise the discount forever.
- Big savings on surveillance: Monitoring of employees is an investment in its own. It can be saved as there will be no need of surveillance cameras or attending machines if there are no or a very few employees at a time be present in the office.
- The much-hyped cost on HR: Additional cost of HR can be saved as no dispute resolution required because there will be no dispute.
What the corporate can lose…
- Face to face interaction for better understanding on the plans, projections and modus operandi.
- The employees who are not motivated needs constant surveillance which would be difficult to monitor if he/she works from home.
- Quality of work and performance can be affected.
What the employee’s gain…
- Family time: The extra time with family members; the time they spend away from home and during travelling to and fro.
- The nanny cost: it really breaks one’s budget if it’s single parent or single earning and there is need for the nanny services. I used to pay about USD 1600 for nanny services. On top of that, although, I have spent additional money for surveillance camera and required infrastructure for the same, I haven’t got my mind in peace.
- Cost of Gas: Yes, it’s tremendous. I was paying on and average USD 300 for my gas per month. It made huge difference in my monthly budget if I can avoid traveling to client site or work from home.
- Cost Toll: In India, toll is just one of the travelling problems., it will get to the point, where the commuters feel the pinch.
- Cost of formal dresses: it is unbelievably high if one keeps a track of total money spend on formal dressing to the office. (you may recollect dress code protocol in your office) you cannot go to office in flip-flops or denims, it’s totally not cool with corporate world.
What the employee can lose…
- Not sure if the spouse (especially stay in moms) would appreciate the other’s constant interfering in her work.
- May be the kids do not want to be monitored so closely. Also they may choose to go lunatic seeing their parent(s) occupied with his/her office works and not paying attention to them.
- Personal growth – by working closely an employee knowingly or unknowingly learns about work/knowledge/behavior. It’s kind of natural and passive learning how the entire system runs.